Skip to content

Saturday Knee Update

So, I went a couple of days without an update. That’s a good sign, right? Absolutely, yes … but it’s also a sign of how exhausted I was at the end of each of the last two days. Tired and unfocused enough, anyway, that I didn’t have it in me to write even brief overviews of how the days had gone. Whether that’s because I was trying to do too much, or because my body is still begging for A LOT of extra rest, I can’t really be certain.

Over the course of the week, I put in at least 4 hours in the office each day. On the one hand, sitting at the desk there isn’t that much more taxing than sitting at my computer here. But on the other hand, the mere act of getting from the parking lot to the desk feels like real physical WORK and leaves me perspiring, though not out of breath. And, maybe more importantly, there’s no real option for taking a break or having a lie down … just pushing through till the day of the end. And then the call for rest has come home to roost, leaving me without much energy or focus for the whole of the evening.

I had help from Keri, Nancy, Owen, Lj, and Elizabeth at various points over the past few days with things ranging from transportation, shopping, household chores, and simple socialization.

Yesterday I went in for a follow-up with my doctor. He was satisfied with the healing progress … and switched me to a less intense NSI med. The general thought being, if things aren’t close to being fully resolved in another 10 days, he’s thinking it might be wise to get me set up with some physical therapy to get things back on track, and build up strength to prevent future recurrences.

Starting today, I’ll be wearing the knee brace less, though if I’m going to be walking any significant distances (oy … when did “more than a few hundred yards” become “significant”?) I’ll probably still have it on … or at least with me. I’ll also be segueing from crutches back to a cane bit by bit.

Really, I’m at a weird point in the recovery. Definite progress has been made. But I’m still having to rely on “camp showers” with cloths and sponges because getting my leg over the lip of the bathtub and standing steadily in the shower is beyond me. I’m ready to drive myself if I need to go anywhere, but getting across a parking lot to my actual destination is a dicey proposition. I can get TO the supermarket, but am not stable enough to walk the aisles or get the groceries from the check-out to my car (or from the car to my apartment). I can get to the laundry room … but I can’t carry my laundry there.

So, yeah … that’s how things look on this Saturday afternoon … two weeks after this little knee trouble started. Definitely better … but definitely still a challenge.

Wednesday Midday Knee Update

Yesterday was a busy day in the land of the wounded knee. With the help of JD & Keri, I managed to get back to the office for the first time in over a week, and I put in a solid half-day of work (mostly without leaving my desk.

I’ll be honest, it wasn’t the most comfortable afternoon I’ve ever had … my leg still likes being completely immobile as little as it does moving around too much. But I DID manage to get a bunch done and begin to get work flowing again on some projects that pretty much were sitting immobile in my absence.

And by the time I got home, I was pretty well exhausted. Man. I had no idea that sitting at a desk for 4.5 hours could sap your energy like that. As a result, I didn’t get anything of particular consequence done in the evening (though I did manage to get myself fed and to have a short visit with Owen), and I slept a ton.

Now I’m going to try to do all this two days in a row … and hopefully be a little less wiped out at the end of the day.

::fingers crossed::

Monday Knee Update

Originally, my thought today was to go into the office for half-a-day … to catch up on work and test both my knee and my endurance. However, I woke up with the distinct feeling that today was not a good day to push things too far, so I called in sick.

I DID do a couple of hours of work remotely, which is good … but there were several important tasks I was unable to accomplish, and that was bad. But overall, my decision not to push myself was a smart one. I’m going to give the “going into the office thing” a try tomorrow. It might end up being for LESS than a full half-day … we’ll see. There are things I need to do, and among them is “don’t push myself too hard” … but also among them are these particular office-based tasks.

Keri & JD came over during the middle of the day to help with some household chores (man, I feel so bad asking friends to do things that, in the big picture, I was just too lazy to do when I SHOULD have instead of procrastinating like I did … but having the tasks done now makes me feel better overall … so I’ll just have to remember NOT to procrastinate so badly in the future, and to show the depth of my gratitude once I’m back fully on my feet).

We also did a quick run out to the bank and the grocery store, where for the first time I made use of their electric carts. As a game designer, I have to say that they need to tweak some of the user interface on those things, but overall they helped greatly.

The most disheartening news of the day is that I DID “overdo it” a bit in my outing, and had a previously only sore muscle pretty much clench into a full-blown cramp. I’m hoping that cold compress, followed by hot compress, followed by LOTS of rest will mean that the muscle is mostly better by the morning … but right now it smarts something fierce.

Anyway, that’s the news for the day. More progress, more small steps back, and still A WHOPPING TON of support from friends. That means that I have a lot to be thankful for this Monday!

JAPANESE TV ADS:

It’s time for another batch of inexplicable ads fresh off of Japanese TV. This time, there are an exceptionally large number of spots where I could even tell you what the product or service being advertised is … but the commercials are practically hypnotic!

Things I CAN identify include:

• More first-person soda-shooter action in a post-apocalyptic world. Man, I can only hope that State of Decay 2 will have some missions like this!
• Who ya gonna call? Termite Busters!
• A crazily over-choreographed spot for … a mobile game of some sort? I really can’t tell for sure.
• Beef curry that makes you sweat in a super sexy kinda way.

Sunday Knee Report

Healing continues to be slow but steady … enough to say that progress is clearly being made, but still not enough to think about ditching the crutches.

I’m thinking about heading back to work for half-days starting tomorrow, and the only part that really has me uncertain is that each day there seems to come a point in time where my body says, “Y’know what, forget about what you had planned NOW is the time when you should nap.” Sometimes it’s in the morning, relatively shortly after I got up. Other times it’s in the middle of the afternoon (which would be inconvenient in the office). And yet other times it’s about 7 or 8pm, ensuring that sleeping “through the night” is going to be impossible.

Actually, so far TODAY is the first day when a nap has not been mandatory … and maybe THAT’S the biggest clue that things are getting better.

The exact point of weakness on my leg changes. As swelling goes down in certain areas around my knee, they seem to release the vice-like grip they had supporting some other area and revealing a new weakness/ache that must be healed before more progress can be made. At this point, I’m pretty convinced that my leg will not be back to normal by the time my prescription runs out … and I’m curious to hear what the doctor will say when examines the developments.

Tonight, Owen & Lj brought some dinner over, helped me with hygiene for my hair and feet, and we finally got around to watching “The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires,” the third film that Owen has officially recognized for the historical period piece/horror/romance sub-cross-genre. (Though, as he rightfully points out, “it’s the worst of the bunch.”)

For the first time since the original, and as yet still mysterious, injury, I’m going to try sleeping in my bed. I think that the knee brace will prevent me from doing additional harm to myself, and I hope that I’ll sleep more soundly with something wider than the couch holding up my frame.

Guess you’ll have to wait till the morning to see how that works out, though.

Saturday Morning Knee Update

I think I’m at the point in this injury where these posts are going to become VERY repetitive. Each morning I’m waking up feeling noticeably better … yet still very much in need of the crutches, even for short-range scooting around the apartment. Going longer distances is more possible, yet still exhausting.

The knee brace I picked up yesterday is certainly helpful at keeping my leg … uh … braced. And while overnight that meant the knee itself stayed very still and (presumably) healed without extra stress, it also caused stiffness and a little bit of swelling further up my thigh. Sorta like two steps forward, one step back.

Last night Owen & Lj came over bearing ice cream, and we spent the evening going over some Rogue Genius Games business and watching YouTube vids. Don’t judge … we had fun!

I’m going to try to get some work done today, something I’ve been mostly unable to do all through the week, despite repeated efforts … I just don’t realize how much “fidgeting” is an integral part of this healing process until I try to sit in one place and be productive. Fingers crossed that this is going to improve quickly over the next few days, because there are TOO MANY projects that are suffering for lack of my attention (both at my day job AND on my freelance calendar).

No real plans for any socialization today/tonight. I suppose if anyone is looking for a really dull time, they can consider coming over here and watching a movie or something … but I think I’ll probably be doing that as a solo act this evening. Quite all right, actually. While I do enjoy having company, I’m also quite capable of entertaining myself, too.

Thank you all again for checking in on me (even virtually) and throwing thumbs up and other bits of moral support my way. There’s a lot that’s disheartening about this injury, not the least of which being the slow recovery process, but having little reminders of all the folks out there who are in my corner is a palpable help.

Friday Midday Knee Update

Progress continues to be palpable. I got up this morning and felt much less stiffness from a long sleep with my leg motionless, and and improved ability to stand unsupported. However, going to the bathroom to wash my face and freshen up showed me how much more healing is still left to go. It’s humbling and frustrating … but patience is the only course to healing.

Last night Luis came over to visit again (thanks, amigo). We had some Thai food and played a board game … y’know, like normal folks do. Of course the rigamarole that had to be done in order to set the room up in such a way as was convenient for all these things AND left me room to maneuver should I need to go to the kitchen or bathroom, again was a little frustrating. But I’ve got great friends who are willing to pitch in and tell me it’s no big deal. (May I never forget how blessed this makes me.)

Speaking of awesome friends, today Keri came by and took me to a medical supply store so I could pick up a knee brace that Danger Doc Forrestalprescribed for me. It is TERRIFIC and provides a TON better support for my knee. I can only guess that it speed my recovery and prevent inadvertent twisting that might cause relapse.

From there, we went to the Wizards offices so I could do a tiny bit of work, consult with some of my colleagues, and pick up my laptop so that I can do work from home and help to unsnarl the back-up that my week’s absence has created. It ALSO will allow me to invoice for a few billable hours of work this week to cover the cost of my insurance premiums.

Finally, we went to Jimmy Mac’s Roadhouse Renton for lunch and general chit chat. I haven’t gotten to hang out with Keri for a while so this was terrific. The only thing that would have made it better would have been if JD had been able to join us, but he had this silly little thing called “work” that was demanding his presence and attention.

Back at the apartment now, I think a mid-afternoon nap is on the agenda, but I don’t feel nearly as tired as I have the past few days … so maybe it really will only be a catnap this time.

This evening there are tentative plans for Owen & Lj to come over and perhaps watch a vampire Kung-Fu movie … but they’ve got busy schedules, too, so we’re still playing that by ear. The funny thing is that the weekend is coming up and I’ve got nothing at all on the schedule … so we’ll just have to wait and see how that goes. My fridge is already filled with food from previous visitors, so I’m certainly not wanting for any provisions.

All in all, it’s been a crazy week. If you told me last Friday that I’d be this laid-up and consider it a “vast improvement” from a week ago, I’d have found it difficult to conceive … yet here I am.

Thank you again to ALL my friends—those who have come by and kept me company, those who have shuttled me to appointments, those who have given generously to my larder, those who have given even more generously of their time, those who have offered to help and remain “on call” should I need them, and those who have sent me messages of support—to ALL of you, from the bottom of my heart I say, “Thank you!”

May you all have fun and relaxing weekends!

SUMO: Hakuho vs. Legend

We’re in the middle of an even-numbered month, which means the middle of a long, dry, no-sumo spell. We’ve still got two weeks until the banzuke [ranking sheet] for the Nagoya Basho is announced, and then another two weeks after that before the matches start. But I’m already jonesing for some sumo action.

While digging through emails and such, I’ve come across some interesting sumo-related items that I can share to help get us through the doldrums . . . and they start with this terrific article from FiveThirtyEight.com.

It’s a fascinating mixture of insight into Hakuho, the history of sumo (including really thought-provoking statistical breakdowns), and the state of the sport today. But the BIG hook is a “who would win” comparison between Hakuho—the greatest yokozuna of the modern era, who now own most of the records one can amass—and Raiden, a near-legendary rikishi from the late 1700s, said by many to be the greatest of all time.

As the article points out, because of a long history of banzuke and other official documents, there is an incredible amount of factual data even on rikishi from four hundred years ago. And the article’s author does an amazing job of using it thoughtfully to make a reasonable comparison between these two champions of the dohyo.

Thursday Morning Knee Update

It is clear to me that things are improving. I only got up once during the night, and at my age that’s a relative victory regardless of the knee problems. Pain is down further, mobility is up further, strength is starting (slowly) to return. That having been said, giving myself a thorough sponge bath and shave just about wore me out and left my recently no-rinse-shampooed hair slick with sweat. I’ve clearly got a way to go in this healing process.

I’ve got to make some business calls today to make sure that taking a week off from my “billable hours” gig isn’t going to wreak havoc with my insurance (since I’m supposed to pay premiums out of my weekly pay checks). And I’ve contacted the folks at Wizards to let them know that I can handle 3-4 hours of work if they have anything I can do remotely (maybe proofreading or something … it would be more if I had my laptop here, but it’s still safely at my desk in the office).

Still I continue to set aside time JUST for putting my leg up and letting it rest and heal. That’s really the MOST important thing overall.

I had a text chat this morning with my personal east coast emergency medical physician, who has given me added recommendations. (Oh, and happy anniversary Kerry & Shannon!) It looks like I’ll have visitors for lunch and dinner, so I guess this will be a relatively busy day. Y’know, if it wasn’t for the pain and inconvenience, this wouldn’t be so bad. ;^)

Wednesday Evening Knee Update

Today was a day where a lot of things have gone right. The newly prescribed anti-inflamatory medicine is clearly making progress. I definitely notice continued slow improvement in the strength and range of motion for my knee. Of course, I still need the crutches to get even from my desk to the couch … but I don’t feel exhausted when I do. (Going to the kitchen and back, though, does still leave me a little wiped out.) And in the middle of the afternoon I felt the sudden need for a 3-hour nap. Still … progress for certain!

I also had a series of visitors today, one of whom I didn’t even wake up to greet even though she was bringing me some requested groceries (sorryMichelle). I couldn’t make it down to Cedar River Smokehouse for BBQ Lunch today, but Steven and Andy brought some in and shared the lunch hour with me (thanks, guys)! And later in the afternoon, Owen & Lj came over with a basket of freshly done laundry (my heroes!) and to introduce me to the wonders of “no rinse shampoo.”

There are a lot of simple things that have proven difficult with my mobility so limited, and personal hygiene is high on the list. With washcloths and baby wipes, I’ve been able to keep my face-to-thighs region reasonably clean with “camp baths” … but the extremes of my hair and my feet have proven beyond my ingenuity. But this no rinse shampoo is pure genius!

In case, like me, you have never heard of it, here’s how it works: You apply it directly to the hair, wet it all down, knead it in thoroughly (like even MORE thoroughly than normal), and when you’re done, just towel-dry your head … and miraculously, your hair is surprisingly clean. It’s about 85% as good as a regular shampoo, so not something you’d want to use every day. But after five days without an actual shower, my hair was getting pretty ratty … and now it’s almost back to normal.

As for the feet, Lj revealed to me that in her past she worked as a home healthcare provider, and offered to do a basic clean-up for me. Oddly enough, this is what I was most skittish about, not because I think there’s anything wrong with having someone wash my feet … but because I just hate imposing the funk of my so long unwashed pedal extremities on anyone, ESPECIALLY a friend. But Lj convinced me that it was okay and so I got over my perhaps Pulp Fiction inspired hesitance … and so for the first time since last Friday I’m fully clean, head to toe.

When all of this is done and I’m back on my feet, I am going to have to come up with some super nice gesture I can do to show my deep and abiding thanks for all support friends have been giving me this week. And beyond the ones whose names I’ve listed out, there are probably that many again who have assured me repeatedly that I should call if I need any help—they’re ready and willing to step in to help.

I am TRULY a very lucky person to have such wonderful people in my life.